Author Topic: if any computer was send back to 1960,how it would effect computer evolution?  (Read 4075 times)

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Offline aqarwaen

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lets say it was possible to send any modem day computer back to early 1960 or 1970.
2 computers would be sent..1 for teardown and 2th having all info stored on ssd/hdd.
computer would have data on hdd how stuff works and how to manufacture computers.i wonder such thing effect computer evolution and research.what would different today?
 

Online onesixright

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Depends what your looking at.

Looking at h/w, according to Moore, we should be right now -by technology- roughly in 2070 (+ 50 years). If it would his law will hold up, its already slowing doen a bit. So more like 2050. Guessing :-)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law

 

Offline BrianHG

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Nothing.  Part of computing today is not just the horse power, but, all the artists, drawings, musicians, user interface specialists & getting people with the money and power to make such a device affordable and get general public interest to find all these things useful.  This means also fast networking structure like the internet which can communicate between individuals and expand the use of that horse power as well.

You may find a niche R&D lab with specialists doing some fancy math an limited physics experiments, but, it could never expand to the rest of the world and just the materials, manufacturing infrastructure needed just to make a single copy.  It's not just the CPUs, ram, dont forget the power transistors, compact low ESR capacitors even for the power supply.  Such a computer would be considered a military secret and hidden and used to break foreign cryptography.  That's about it.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 03:26:15 am by BrianHG »
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Offline lapm

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Would engineers of that day even understand todays technology? Could they even image modern 1x nanometer line width cpu with equipment of that time?

Yes i believe they would soon figure out its computer like nothing they have seen before. But to replicate technology used... Thats different matter.. At best case there might be fractions of technology to spurr from it in some things like better transistor manufacturing, etc...

It migh speed up shirking line width in prosessors since they now have evidence showing whats bossible.
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Offline Pinkus

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CIA would have stored it away. Same as with the Ark of the covenant.
Proof:
 

Offline HoracioDos

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Windows would be born earlier and it would be more heavy. Please send back something else.
 

Online onesixright

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Windows would be born earlier and it would be more heavy. Please send back something else.
Stolen earlier that is...
 

Offline Berni

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It might speed thing up a little bit when it shows them what can be done but that's about it.

They would still need to develop all of this chip manufacturing technology from scratch. Even if they had the complete plans for a modern PC they would not be able to do much with them since they have no way of putting a bilion transistors in a chip. They would have trouble looking at a CPU die without today's fancy electron microscopes, and they would have problems looking at the high speed buses with the test equipment of the time.

Provided that they also have the software and documentation to write programs on it that would make it very useful as the world fastest supercomputer that could perhaps help further science in some way by allowing scientists to run massive simulations. But given the importance of such a thing this computer would likely end up captured by govorment for military use.

The actual problem with computing in the 60s is that a person couldn't own a computer. They ware missing the technology to manufacture a computer powerful enough to be useful yet cheap enough to be affordable for an average person. There was not even commercial interest in making one. It didn't make sense why an average person would want to own a computer if they are these giant power hungry and incredibly expensive machines while being so complicated to use that the average person could't even use it to calculate the result of 1+1.

Its the home computer revolution that really started it all. This is when computers became cheap enough for a average person to own.

So if you ask me if you wanted to kickstart the computing revolution you would need to give a pallet full of 68000 or Z80 CPUs to every major consumer electronics manufacturer in the 60s along with some 16K RAM chips and some video generator IC. Including the documentation on how to use them and how to build a computer with it. This would get the first home computers in to the hands of the people and once they do that there is a big market for it and this funnels lots of R&D money into developing these chips and making them in mass production. It would still take them a while but old home computers are simple enough to be understood by a single engineer and would not need chip manufacturing processes anywhere near as advanced.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 03:51:06 am by Berni »
 

Offline Berni

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Oh and if you really want to upset the flow of history then you teach an engineer the roman language, let him take a suitcase full of books and send him back about 2000 years.

The technology back then was advanced enough to have access to basic materials. So given that a person armed with modern knowledge could become successful enough in society to get these materials and tools he could build some amazing technology from it.

One route is building a steam machine with enough power output to be useful, potential kickstrating the industrial revolution.

Another route is making electricity practial. This unlocks many very useful inventions such as long distance communication (Something the roman empire could really make good use of) or when coupled with the steam machine help for efficient transfer of power. It would still take a lot of technological progress before a useful transistor could be made, but the technology used to make these electromechanical contraptions could be repurposed and combined with glassblowing technology to make the delicate parts for a thermionic valve. And once you have that you basically have electronics.

This would give the roman empire an incredible advantage and change nations over the entire planet. That's a lot of history to correct so historians would probably get pretty upset with you about sending that smart ass back in time.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 04:10:34 am by Berni »
 

Online schmitt trigger

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Thank goodness that the flux capacitors are out of stock.

https://www.jaycar.com.au/flux-capacitor/p/OUTATIME
 

Online Gyro

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Oh and if you really want to upset the flow of history then you teach an engineer the roman language, let him take a suitcase full of books and send him back about 2000 years.

The technology back then was advanced enough to have access to basic materials. So given that a person armed with modern knowledge could become successful enough in society to get these materials and tools he could build some amazing technology from it.

One route is building a steam machine with enough power output to be useful, potential kickstrating the industrial revolution.

Another route is making electricity practial. This unlocks many very useful inventions such as long distance communication (Something the roman empire could really make good use of) or when coupled with the steam machine help for efficient transfer of power. It would still take a lot of technological progress before a useful transistor could be made, but the technology used to make these electromechanical contraptions could be repurposed and combined with glassblowing technology to make the delicate parts for a thermionic valve. And once you have that you basically have electronics.

This would give the roman empire an incredible advantage and change nations over the entire planet. That's a lot of history to correct so historians would probably get pretty upset with you about sending that smart ass back in time.

Of course, given a 2000 year head start, we'd be be enjoying some really nice warm summers by now!  :)
Chris

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Offline Homer J Simpson

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Watch Star Trek Voyager, "Future's End", season 3, episodes 8 and 9.

 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Sending a modern computer back many decades may in a limited way influence the evolution of software.
But you would have needed to kick-start the development of the vacuum tube and then transistors sufficiently to have the semiconductor infrastructure in place to support advanced design of computers that could not exist without massive integration of circuits.
 

Offline jmelson

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lets say it was possible to send any modem day computer back to early 1960 or 1970.
2 computers would be sent..1 for teardown and 2th having all info stored on ssd/hdd.
computer would have data on hdd how stuff works and how to manufacture computers.i wonder such thing effect computer evolution and research.what would different today?
Not all that much.  Instead of the computer, send them the information on IC design now used, and the gear used to fabricate the ICs.  In 1960, they didn't even have real ICs, yet, although I think a couple VERY primitive ones had been built in labs.
By mid 1960's, ICs were coming into production, and by 1970 they were mainstream items, although on a very small scale of integration.  Then, it was a LONG slog to work up to modern LSI with density that the engineers in 1960/1070 could hardly dream about.

A whole lot of issues in extremely pure crystal growth, fine line mask generation and UV exposure technology had to be worked through, as well as the semiconductor physics as transistors got smaller and smaller.  Even in 1970, CMOS was in its infancy, and almost everything was still bipolar.  CMOS really started getting traction in maybe, 1975 - 1980.

Jon
 

Offline jmelson

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Sending a modern computer back many decades may in a limited way influence the evolution of software.
But you would have needed to kick-start the development of the vacuum tube and then transistors sufficiently to have the semiconductor infrastructure in place to support advanced design of computers that could not exist without massive integration of circuits.
Not sure how many decades you are referring to in this thread.  IBM was building transistorized computers starting about 1959, maybe.  And, they built some large systems such at the 707x and 709x models.  The 7094, which came out in 1959, had 11,000 circuit boards with 50,000 discrete transistors, which quite boggles my mind!  So, vacuum tubes were definitely obsolete for computers as of 1959 or so.  Still, they were HUGE systems, the 7094 filled about a dozen refrigerator-sized cabinets.  (IBM also made smaller systems for both business and scientific computing.)

Jon
 

Online Gyro

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Surely they'd either have been too scared of damaging such an unknown technology by trying to do any sort of in depth investigation... or they would have tried to investigate it (try to take an IC apart, maybe even the pcb) and irreversibly broken it. Any technology that in advance of where you are now is probably either going to end up be locked up or broken. Sending back information would be vastly more helpful that an actual device.

P.S. In the 60s, did they have any concept of a semiconductor triode, ie. a field effect voltage controlled semiconductor junction with a gate? That would have slowed investigation down a bit!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 05:50:44 am by Gyro »
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Online rsjsouza

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How can you say for sure they didn't take a modern computer back to the 1960? My suspicion is that they did and finally dropped off that idea of the analog computer once and for all! Similar thing using discrete transistors... The future was in those newfangled so called integrated circuits that started to become more and more ubiquitous in the 60's.  :-DD
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Offline In Vacuo Veritas

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Offline Kjelt

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They had an analog navigation/solar moon planets system in 87BC.
What happened with that knowledge? Why did it take another 1600 years before it was reinvented?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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P.S. In the 60s, did they have any concept of a semiconductor triode, ie. a field effect voltage controlled semiconductor junction with a gate? That would have slowed investigation down a bit!

1947 The modern, practical transistor was invented at Bell Labs by Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley. Both junction and field-effect, IIRC. 

1967 The modern, practical integrated circuit was invented by Kilby (TI) and Noyce (Fairchild).

1970 The first practical IC microprocessor (Intel 4004) in 1970.

1974 IMSAI introduced their microcomputer kit using the Intel 8080.

 
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Online NiHaoMike

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I would send some RISC-V boards complete with all available documentation. And for some real fun, create a scene that looks like a crashed UFO.
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Offline Jr460

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Don't send a machine back.  Send them architecture guides for processors and how long that design lasted.  They can then see what ideas were dead ends and what features they really need to focus on.

Oh make make sure they get the reports of the next round of Intel hardware bugs that got released today, 8/14.   (Just a nice way of saying, don't do this crap to make the chip faster, it lead to much pain later)

May be if you want to send back hardware, try some of the early 10 half ethernet controllers for a non-PC based machine with a note, hey we now run 1G full-duplex in everyone's house.  Let them think our carriers supply that speed to door of everyone.   That would help a lot.
 

Offline TK

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I think any venture trying to get such advanced computer to market would have failed.  History has proven that being too early is not a guarantee of success...

https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/05/11/general-magic-tells-story-of-apple-vets-who-created-a-smartphone-15-years-too-early

From a pure technology perspective, computer architecture and technology has not changed much since its inception.  CPU Instruction Pipelining, Cache memory, Virtual Machine, Static Memory, Intelligent peripherals, Networking, email, SGML (Father of HTML) existed in the 60s - 70s (IBM Mainframes, OS360, VM).  The cost was extremely high and could not be used in low cost computers
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 09:12:25 am by TK »
 

Offline KE5FX

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They had an analog navigation/solar moon planets system in 87BC.
What happened with that knowledge? Why did it take another 1600 years before it was reinvented?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism

Technology tends to show up when it's needed, and tends to disappear when it's not.  The earliest steam engine we know about was built by Hero of Alexandria, and it's very possible that the idea was already old at the time.  But who needs a steam engine when you have slaves?  As a result, nothing much happened for 2000 years until the economics underlying human labor were rethought and reworked. 

The same is likely true of electrochemical batteries.  If you have slaves, you don't need motors.  If you don't have mechanical motors, you don't need fuel or batteries.

If you took a 14-nm CPU back to the 1960s, it would have no effect.  They'd put the die under their strongest optical microscopes and it would still look like a featureless gray blob.  There's no way to rush the evolution that happened over the next 50 years, because it happened in lockstep with market needs that also evolved.
 
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Offline LaserSteve

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Send them something useable such as optical fiber 15 years ahead of its time, CW diode lasers, and how to make fast EO modulators.  Give them P and N Gallium Arsenide wafers.  741 op-amps, and leds.  Optical or Quantum computing would be in my cell phone by now, if you did.

Steve
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